#1 Edited by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

With the recent release of Guacamelee, I couldn't help but have old nostalgic feelings of Metroidvania games sprout up. I asked a few of my friends that are not nearly as involved with gaming as I am what their favorite Metroidvania game was and they replied with "what's Metroidvania?" And I couldn't help but think "seriously?" I then realized I may take for granted some terminology that I think of as commonplace. So, I made this video about the birth, history and continuing relevance of the Metroidvania genre... which I think will turn into a series of episodes discussing the same thing -- topics that I take for granted as commonplace knowledge or simply things that are interesting in regards to gaming.

#2 Edited by Oscar__Explosion (2305 posts) -

@terramantis: I asked a few of my friends that are not nearly as involved with gaming as I am what their favorite Metroidvania game was and they replied with "what's Metroidvania?" And I couldn't help but think "seriously?"

Were you honestly surprised that people that aren't into games don't know what a mash up of two separate gaming franchises are?

#3 Edited by hencook (176 posts) -

Skimming... Looks well presented. I would appreciate it if you added the title of each game being played when you show footage of the game. I also would like to know the game at 9:41!

Best Metroidvania for me- Bioshock
Best USE of Metroidvania- Symphony of the Night given the game's spoiler factor.

#4 Posted by Gargantuan (1882 posts) -

@terramantis: I asked a few of my friends that are not nearly as involved with gaming as I am what their favorite Metroidvania game was and they replied with "what's Metroidvania?" And I couldn't help but think "seriously?"

Were you honestly surprised that people that aren't into games don't know what a mash up of two separate gaming franchises are?

Yeah, that's an odd thing to be surprised about.

I've played games since I was about 5 years old (I'm 21 now) and I first heard about metroidvania in 2009 when Shadow Complex came. Maybe it's because I only started playing console games in 2002 when the Xbox was released.

#5 Edited by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

@hencook: The game at 9:41 is called UnEpic. It will probably be more popular once it hits Steam in the near future and it's also coming to Wii U as Wii Ware.

#6 Edited by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

@gargantuan: Well, I had asked three of my friends about it, two of which had no idea what I was talking about, and the third said "yes... from you (referring to me)" but he didn't actually know what it meant. So yeah, I was kind of surprised. They've been gaming as long as myself, just not as heavily I guess... I read a lot more on gaming as well. I think that has a lot to do with it. They don't really follow gaming journalism at all.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, nonetheless, I was.

#7 Posted by Gaff (1758 posts) -

I was going to be positive: good pace, well spoken (clearly reading off a script, but not stilted or rushed -no autocue, right), good flapping of the arms (you'd be surprised how many people can't do that on video without looking forced), poke some fun at the grey wall...

And then I got to the credits. Egads, that font!

#8 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2305 posts) -

Now that I've watched the video I'd like to say that A) it was very well made and B) There has to be another term that can used to define these types of games other than "Metroidvania."

#9 Posted by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

@oscar__explosion: some people call it Castleroid, I hate that term... it sounds like a castle-sized boil on someone's ass or something. I'll stick to Metroidvania for now I think.

#10 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2305 posts) -

@oscar__explosion: some people call it Castleroid, I hate that term... it sounds like a castle-sized boil on someone's ass or something. I'll stick to Metroidvania for now I think.

My main reasoning behind it is because it's feels lazy naming an entire sub genre by mashing the two names together.

#11 Posted by BeachThunder (11959 posts) -

First of all, I think it's incredibly important to mention that Metroidvania is a terrible name; until we come up with something better, the fewer people that are familiar with the term, the better. Second of all, probably Metroid Fusion.

#12 Posted by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

@oscar__explosion: Well, I tend to agree that it's problematic. It's sort of the way people still describe all Rogue-like games after the game Rogue which came out like 30 years ago. Usually, only the basic fundamentals of these modern 'rogue-likes' are what make them qualify -- perma death, randomly generated maps, so on -- but other than that they're vastly different than Rogue from so long ago. The Binding of Isaac is a good example.

Regardless, saying Metroidvania is still better than saying non-linear, vast exploration with gear upgrades required to do that exploration, platforming gaming.

#13 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2305 posts) -

@oscar__explosion: Well, I tend to agree that it's problematic. It's sort of the way people still describe all Rogue-like games after the game Rogue which came out like 30 years ago. Usually, only the basic fundamentals of these modern 'rogue-likes' are what make them qualify -- perma death, randomly generated maps, so on -- but other than that they're vastly different than Rogue from so long ago. The Binding of Isaac is a good example.

Regardless, saying Metroidvania is still better than saying non-linear, vast exploration with gear upgrades required to do that exploration, platforming gaming.

Yeah I understand it's easier to say Metroidvania other than something else but it's still a very lazy term. It's just something that's always bugged me that doesn't seem that it can get fixed anytime soon.

#14 Posted by BeachThunder (11959 posts) -

@oscar__explosion: Well, I tend to agree that it's problematic. It's sort of the way people still describe all Rogue-like games after the game Rogue which came out like 30 years ago. Usually, only the basic fundamentals of these modern 'rogue-likes' are what make them qualify -- perma death, randomly generated maps, so on -- but other than that they're vastly different than Rogue from so long ago. The Binding of Isaac is a good example.

Regardless, saying Metroidvania is still better than saying non-linear, vast exploration with gear upgrades required to do that exploration, platforming gaming.

Rogue-like is also terrible; thankfully we outgrew that dark period in the 90s where people used the phrase Doom-clone.

Well, Exploration Platformer is a little shorter than "non-linear, vast exploration with gear upgrades required to do that exploration, platforming gaming". It doesn't quite have the same ring as Metroidvania, but at least we're not tying a genre name to 2 specific franchises; both of which feature several games that aren't even in their own eponymous genre.

#15 Edited by dpedal1 (191 posts) -

I really enjoyed this. I started the video expecting to just fast forward and skim through certain parts, but ended up watching it all. Very well presented and spoken. I will certainly be watching others if you post them.

#16 Posted by MedalOfMode (294 posts) -

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Origins BlackGate

And All of Metroid Games ^_^

#17 Edited by RawknRo11a (564 posts) -

Nice video, and for me it would have to be Shadow Complex which I'm kinda surprised no one mentioned.

#18 Edited by fox01313 (5073 posts) -

First one I think of for this is Shadow Complex.

#19 Posted by Icicle7x3 (1182 posts) -

Super Metroid

#20 Edited by Nictel (2412 posts) -

*Metroid*

P.S. Really like the video

#21 Posted by believer258 (11923 posts) -

My favorite Metroidvania game also happens to be my favorite game of all time - Super Metroid.

Online
#22 Posted by BisonHero (6545 posts) -

@hencook said:

Best Metroidvania for me- Bioshock

I don't think I agree. Yes, Bioshock let's you use the bathyspheres to backtrack to previous areas, but you could always get 100% of the items in each area before you leave the first time, and you never get any abilities that open up new areas, aside from using electricity to open certain doors, except you have that from almost the first moment of the game.

#23 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

I liked Metroid, I guess.

Other than that one game, Metroidlikes are an entire genre that I really couldn't care less about. Hey guys, we've built backtracking into the progression of the game so that you will be constantly revisiting the same areas and fighting the same enemies! That sounds great, thanks?

#24 Edited by Daneian (1239 posts) -

Metroid: Zero Mission and Batman: Arkham Asylum

#25 Posted by Szlifier (494 posts) -

Thanks, I finally know what that means. Next stop, rogue-like.

#26 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

Dust: An Elysian Tail.

#27 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

i never really liked the metriod games, didn't play any castlevania games.

i did however love shadow complex.

#28 Edited by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

@szlifier: Rogue-like is definitely on the list of episode ideas, but I don't think it will an episode this season. If you're into rogue-likes, though, some really great modern titles are The Binding of Isaac, FTL: Faster Than Light and Dungeons of Dredmor, all of which have pretty unique takes on the rogue-like genre itself and offer pretty individual experiences.

#29 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11754 posts) -

I think Symphony of the Night and Shadow Complex are pretty awesome.

Online
#30 Posted by Miketakon (514 posts) -

Arkham Asylum is a pretty cool Metroidvania.

#31 Edited by 49th (2758 posts) -

Portrait of Ruin. I like it a lot. Metroid games always feel too short to me and the RPG stuff in the Castlevania games is cool. Although I have never played Symphony of the Night which I should probably do.

#32 Posted by jakob187 (21675 posts) -

@medalofmode said:

Batman: Arkham Origins BlackGate

You've played a game that was just announced?! HOLY HELL, SEND ME A COPY!

Personally, my favorites are still Super Metroid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Luigi's Mansion.

#33 Edited by Hamst3r (4487 posts) -
#34 Edited by MedalOfMode (294 posts) -

@jakob187 Yes, I played it on my dreams Lol.

#35 Edited by GunstarRed (5194 posts) -

Metroidvania is a term people should stop using... mostly when referring to Metroid and Castlevania games.

My favourite is Super Metroid though.

Online
#36 Posted by Lyisa (359 posts) -

Cave story.

Also really enjoyed Dust.

#37 Edited by Pr1mus (3918 posts) -

1. Super Metroid

2. Batman: Arkham Asylum

Every other 2D Metroid games after that.

#38 Posted by Soapy86 (2622 posts) -

Dark Souls, if that counts. If not, Symphony of the Night.

#39 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5495 posts) -

Dark Souls, not counting the vanias or the metroids, but suffice to say it wouldn't be hard to find 30-40% of the top 10 games of all time in this category.

@bisonhero: But hey, Bioshock is all Bioshocking topical and shit, therefore it must be in every thread. By that guy's definition I guess I'd say Vagrant Story; which isn't all that far off. And hey it's the best damn game that ever existed.

#40 Posted by Slag (4418 posts) -

in all honesty, never heard of "Metroidvania" as a concept still I started perusing the Giantbomb wiki

I'm not sure it shouldn't really be called something else.

#41 Posted by Bane122 (790 posts) -

One of my favorite genres but it's hard for me to pick one favorite game. My top 3 are, in no order, Super Metroid, SotN, and Arkham Asylum. Special mention has to go to Simon's Quest. I don't like it better than those other three but it's probably above all other games in the genre.

It's weird, a lot of the later handheld Castlevania games are perfectly fine games but something about SotN just clicks together like none of the others. The music, secrets, characters, graphics... it's just a hell of a package, still.

#42 Edited by Hunter5024 (5691 posts) -

The only one I've ever played is Symphony of The Night so that one I guess. Anyone want to recommend which Castlevania game to play next? I also intend to play through Super Metroid once I get it for 40 cents on the Wii U.

#43 Edited by kishinfoulux (2316 posts) -

The term Metroidvania really needs to go away. Games with those elements have elements of METROID not Castlevania. No idea who started it, but it needs to stop.

#44 Posted by Crysack (318 posts) -

The only one I've ever played is Symphony of The Night so that one I guess. Anyone want to recommend which Castlevania game to play next? I also intend to play through Super Metroid once I get it for 40 cents on the Wii U.

My favourite CV of all time is still Super Castlevania IV - but that technically isn't a Metroidvania game, it's an old-school CV. Other than that, as far as actual Metroidvanias go, I would recommend Aria of Sorrow for GBA as well as Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclesia for DS.

Rondo of Blood and Bloodlines are also very good, but again, they aren't Metroidvanias.

#45 Edited by Rebel_Scum (712 posts) -

Batman Arkham Asylum and Shadow Complex. Two great Metroidvania games.

The term Metroidvania makes sense. The english language has evolved.

#46 Posted by Hunter5024 (5691 posts) -

@crysack said:

@hunter5024 said:

The only one I've ever played is Symphony of The Night so that one I guess. Anyone want to recommend which Castlevania game to play next? I also intend to play through Super Metroid once I get it for 40 cents on the Wii U.

My favourite CV of all time is still Super Castlevania IV - but that technically isn't a Metroidvania game, it's an old-school CV. Other than that, as far as actual Metroidvanias go, I would recommend Aria of Sorrow for GBA as well as Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclesia for DS.

Rondo of Blood and Bloodlines are also very good, but again, they aren't Metroidvanias.

What's different about them? Are they more linear like a megaman type game?

#47 Edited by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

@hunter5024: Yes, they're more like the original Castlevania -- segmented level design, static hit points throughout the game, and upgrades are there but not a requirement to make progress in order to finish the game. They're action platformers, like the roots to the Castlevania franchise, not Metroid-like games similar to Symphony of the Night and so on.